IAHA - Animal Husbandry Alliance

IAHA is an informal network of individuals and organizations interested in inspiring, supporting and strengthening the development of organic animal husbandry. It is the animal husbandry 'think tank' of the IFOAM - Organics International Action Group.


The General Assembly of IFOAM - Organics International in Korea in October 2011 recommended that animal husbandry be given more emphasis in IFOAM-Organics International through a worldwide platform to address animal health and welfare, breeding techniques, feeding (e.g. roughage versus concentrates) and related issues.

A group of interested individuals, supported by the IFOAM World Board, then began to organize and, at the end of November 2012, the IFOAM Animal Husbandry Alliance (IAHA) became approved by the IFOAM World Board.


IAHA allows IFOAM Affiliates to share organic animal husbandry knowledge, concerns, positions, and issues and integrate them into the work of IFOAM - Organics International and the organic movement. 

 Its most recent contributions included:
- Offering a platform for researchers, advisors and farmers as well as other interested persons to speak and be heard by organising a Pre-Conference on Animal Husbandry linked to the Organic World Congress.
- Organising a workshop on organic livestock development issues at the OWC.
- Drafting policy recommendations for the organic sector and movement on how to support and develop animal husbandry for the General Assembly of IFOAM.

IAHA would like to become more active in supporting organic livestock producers through increased advocacy and input into IFOAM decision making. We would also like to facilitate learning opportunities at farmer , institution and organisation levels and be in a position to provide recommendations to stakeholders in the organic movement.Want to get involved?

Simply fill out the IAHA-Questionnaire to join the community and receive IAHA's newsletters.


Call for Abstracts for IAHA Pre-Conference “Organic Animal Husbandry Systems – challenges, performance and potentials” on 21-22. September 2020 linked to the 20th Organic World Congress in Rennes in France.

This Pre-Conference will highlight the role of livestock in sustainable agriculture, with an emphasis on growing organic livestock production worldwide. It will focus on the main challenges under different themes, taking into account the diversity of organic and sustainable animal husbandry systems. At this pre-conference we will have an important session for organic animal husbandry in which we will consider ways to promote the vital importance of meat and livestock in the human diet, in the soil cycle and for planetary health.

Here you find the detailed information brochure on this Pre-Conference. Deadline for submissions of abstracts (300 words) is the 31st of October  2019.

Read here the Call for Abstracts and information brochure on the IAHA Pre-Conference 21.-22. September 2020

Latest newsletter of IAHA of July 2019
In this latest IAHA newsletter you will find detailed information on Organic Animal Husbandry in New Zealand and in India, an outlook on the IAHA-Pre-Conference in September 2020 as well as a short summary of several EU projects on organic animal husbandry.  Jointly with IAHA the leaders of these projects are contributing to the organisation of the Pre-Conference on livestock before the Organic World Congress.



IAHA Organic Animal Husbandry Pre-Conference on 6-8 November 2017, Ghaziabad, India

On 7 and 8 November 2017, the pre-conference "Role of livestock in sustainable agriculture" took place as a preconference of the Organic World Congress (9-11 of Nov. 2017) in Dehli, India. More than 80 persons participated.

Co-organiser of this event were the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), the Organic Farming Association of India (OFAI), the National Centre of Organic Farming (NCOF) in India, the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI under ICAR), the Indian livestock development & ethno-veterinary group ANTHRA and IFOAM - Organics International.

Here you can download:

the proceedings of the Pre-Conference 2017 with more than 40 papers in different thematic sessions 

- the presentations of the key note speakers:

o Prof. Emeritius Donald M. Broom (University of Cambridge, UK): “Sustainability: the role of animal welfare and silvopastoral systems”

o Prof. Raymond Auerbach (Nelson Mandela University, South Africa): “Integrating sustainable and organic animal husbandry with efficient resource use in Africa”.

o Dr. Florian Leiber, (head of the animal research department at FiBL) gave a key note speech on “The sustainability dilemma in livestock feeding”

On 6th November 2017 a workshop on the use of Ayurveda and traditional medicinal plants for animal health was organised by Nitya Ghotge, supported with presentations from: 

- Angela Escosteguy (Brazil) 
- Dr. Marion Johnson (New Zealand)

A presentation on Veterinary Ayurveda – Theories and Practices from Dr Kumar S. K., Dr MNB Nair & Dr Punniamurthy N.  (TransDisciplinary University, India) can be downloaded here.

In this short summary report about the Pre-Conference and the medicinal plants for animal care more photos can be found.

Recommendations for development and research  for organic animal husbandry have been formulated and were discussed during the Pre-Conference and in a separate workshop at the Organic World Congress. 


The IFOAM Animal Husbandry Conference, September 2012, in Hamburg

The inaugural meeting of what became the IAHA occurred during the IFOAM Animal Husbandry Conference, September 2012, in Hamburg. At the conference, a questionnaire was distributed to participants

to gather animal husbandry concerns in different parts of the world. See the results of the first IAHA questionnaire.


IAHA organized several activities during the 18th IFOAM Organic World Congress OWC in Istanbul, October 12-15 2014.In the picture: IAHA Board members (from left to right): Chris Atkinson (UK), Mahesh Chander (India), Angela Escosteguy (Brazil), Otto Schmid (Switzerland) and François Labelle (Canada)

IAHA organized an OWC pre-conference on organic animal husbandry and a workshop session, where the focus was on drafting an International Action Plan for the development and strengthening of Organic Animal Husbandry from 2014-2017. The proceedings and outcomes of the IAHA Pre-conference and workshop session at OWC can be downloaded from here: 


The final Position Paper Compatibility of Breeding techniques in Organic Systems has been accepted by the General Assembly of IFOAM in India on 12th of Nov. 2017. Although this is not a paper of IAHA it is of general interest, as the IFOAM position paper deals also with techniques for animal breeding.

Steering group

Otto Schmid ( Switzerland): otto.schmid [at] fibl.org

Angela Escosteguy (Brazil): angela [at] ibembrasil.org

Chris Atkinson (UK): catkinson [at] soilassociation.org

Mahesh Chander (India): mahesh64 [at] email.com

Muazzez Cömert Acar(Turkey): muazzezcomert35 [at] gmail.com

Marion Johnson (New Zealand): marion.johnson [at] actrix.co.nz

François Labelle (Canada): flabelle [at] valacta.com

IAHA Newsletters